New Chief Executives Discuss New Plans [analysis]

In the last six months, Ugandan firms and organisations have got new chief executive officers, who are expected to drive their agendas forward at least in the next three or more years. ALON MWESIGWA looks at some of them and what plans they have.

PATRICK MWEHEIRE, Stanbic bank

He is the first Ugandan chief executive officer at Stanbic, the biggest bank in the country.

He is a seasoned investment banker, who has worked at some of the biggest banks in the world.

He recently told The Observer that at Stanbic, he wanted to develop new revenue lines, upgrade and hire new talent.

In the last three years, where he was the head of corporate and investment banking, he says has been able to double Stanbic bank’s investment revenue to more than Shs 200bn from Shs 90bn.

And his strategy at Stanbic, he says, is not to sit back and wait for the clients to knock on the door.

Instead, using an investment bank approach, he would go out there and find them.

He will also focus on educating the clients about the different bank products, and bring to the market a couple of corporate bonds and IPOs.

SELESTINO BABUNGI, Umeme

The accountant takes over from Charles Chapman, who had been at the helm of Umeme since 2009. Last week, Babungi told journalists that Chapman had “turned around the company and it is now bankable, listed and has managed to attract private capital”

His role now, he says, is to push the growth agenda.

Babungi said he has an investment plan stretching up to 2018, particularly to drive energy losses down – now at 20 per cent to below 15.

He says he would invest in the network, technology through investment in new lines, substations, and distribution lines.

He says he intends to invest $440m over this period (Shs 1.2tn). Last year, Umeme had a capital investment of Shs 269bn ($96m).

Babungi said he might invest almost the same amount this year.

JOSEPH JABS MUBIRU, MANAGING DIRECTOR – MOGAS Uganda Limited

One of his priorities, he says, is to ensure that MOGAS has a motivated, skilled and customer-centric workforce, who do the right things at the right time.

His goal is to deliver world-class value-added products to a multiple class of customers. He also intends to grow the retail network from 32 stations to about 50 stations by the end of this year.

But as they look forward to diversifying the business, particularly to penetrate the aviation business at Entebbe Airport, MOGAS plans to introduce bottled LPG (cylinders) by the third quarter of 2015 to bridge the gap in this segment.

He also looks forward to building strategic alliances to ably participate in Uganda’s nascent upstream oil business.

David BONYI, Uganda Retirements Benefits Regulatory Authority (URBRA)

Bonyi replaces Moses Bekabye at the helm of Uganda’s retirement sector regulatory authority.

He says his two main tasks are to build internal staff capacity and systems. He says URBRA has been using seconded staff from various government ministries and departments.

Now they must have staff and train them in pension fundamentals and what the industry is all about.

He said he would also build tools of supervision, which a regulatory institution should use to license players.

On the external focus, he says, there are a number of challenges including very low pension coverage, which must be reversed.

He said he would train the industry players on spotting investment opportunities and encourage more Ugandans to participate in the sector. He says he will actively promote the establishment of in-house pension schemes in organizations.

RICHARD BYARUGABA, NSSF

He bounced back after spending a year out of office as NSSF’s managing director. He started his second tenure at the fund towards the end of last year.

When he spoke to reporters earlier this year on what he expected to achieve in three years, he said he planned to improve the performance of the fund.

He said he would come face-to-face with SMEs by intensifying audits to have those that hadn’t been remitting their employees’ savings to do so.

He said among his plans in the three-year tenure was to get the Lubowa estate project, Temangalo, and Pension towers going.

The Lubowa project, Byarugaba said, was long-term, and would cost about Shs 600m to get the first phase completed. The 54-year-old said he would focus on equities for long-term investments.

Source : The Observer

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